This is the first episode of the future most badass podcast on the planet. We’ve had too many fascinating and insightful sports debates limited to just the audience of nearby bar patrons. We’re fixing that for the good of the world.
After finally seeing the Avs show 3rd period life last game, the Stars flipped their script and began dominating from the start in Game 4. It was 3-0 within ten minutes and the Avs couldn’t get their first shot on goal until 1:34 left in period one.
From there, it was mostly a laugher. We did start sleepwalking at the end of the 2nd, giving up two quick goals with some lazy play that led to a 5v3.
Then Hintz did this…
Sweet Jesus. Goal of the series. He just toyed with JT Compher and then fucking RIPPED it above Francouz’s glove.
Francouz ended up getting benched and will have to go back to KHL if we wants to be good at hockey again. Other than that, much of the game was the same old, same old Stars kicking ass that I’ve been writing about this whole time.
The feel good story of the game is Valeri Nichushkin getting his participation trophy. He scored TWO goals last night. That’s two more than he scored for us all of last year!
He couldn’t even celebrate his second one because it was fluky as hell and we were killing them late, but still… Good for him.
We drafted Nichushkin 10th overall in 2013 and he found the NHL to be very challenging. Over six years, he spent half his time on the injured list or back in the KHL to be in a comfort zone. Last year, he came back stateside to give it one more shot with us, and he managed to score zero goals in 57 games.
The Avs picked him up for this season and he’s had the opportunity to skate around and participate in the NHL playoffs. I hope he’s enjoyed his time in Edmonton and will go home feeling a little bit less shitty about being the biggest bust in our franchise history.
Colorado showed a lot of heart in game three and put up the best fight I’ve ever seen from them, and we still almost won. Our two wins were blowouts; their lone win came after trailing in the 3rd period. I’m still feeling good.
Avs did start the third period with a 3-1, but then we started dominating the final third just like we have in the first two games. Three goals in six minutes, starting with this absolute rocket our badass Russian rookie…
We ended up leading 4-3 with eight minutes to go, but to the Avs credit they put up a fight to stay alive. Good on them for not making such an easy kill. I’m impressed, but also not TOO impressed.
The series restarts with a back-to-back today and tomorrow. The Avs can’t beat us twice in a back-to-back, so we’ll go into Wednesday up 3-2 minimum if it goes that far.
Colorado might get some reinforcements with the postponement break. They get defenseman Nikita Zadurov today, and might get forward Matt Calvert tomorrow or Wednesday. The latter is more important, so hopefully we bury them before it comes to that. I’m pretty confident we will.
Luka is the goat-in-training, but Kawhi is still the best in the league. He’s been beating fully developed super teams for the better part of a decade now, and the Mavs are still a year or two away from that level. When he’s fully activated, it’s no contest.
32 points over 30 minutes, including a full 12 minutes in a 3rd quarter that started with a 24 point Clippers lead. Doc Rivers and his talisman meant business, and that means the end is nigh for the Mavs.
My temporary hatred for the Clippers is also coming to an end. This was like a primary election – a fierce but decisive battle to decide who will lead the way going forward to defeat greater evils like Lebron and houston.
That’s why I don’t care about this Marcus Morris brouhaha.
Luka didn’t get hurt. No harm; no foul. The NBA didn’t issue a suspension and seemingly didn’t investigate the Mavs two official complaints on both plays. That’s a good precedent for the Clippers going forward.
The first one was more psychological than dangerous. The second one could’ve actually caused serious harm, as we saw in 2017 when Pachulia did the same thing to Kawhi in game 1 of the WCF.
As we’ve seen in the past, only injuries can stop Kawhi from beating super teams. By getting all the dirty players on his teams instead of others, he neutralizes that threat. I like the strategy.
For the Mavs, this is the end of the line but we know the future is bright etc etc.
The biggest concern is KP being shut down for a torn meniscus in his right knee. This is the opposite side knee of the one that shut him down in NYC.
It’s especially frustrating because he was on fire and looking the best we’ve ever seen him. 34 points and 13 rebounds in game three. 52% from behind the arc this series, with several of those drained from deep range.
He didn’t have any major pain, just a little soreness. The MRI showed a meniscus tear and we shut him down for good because we’re not beating the Clippers anyway.
It’ll be something to watch going forward. He can play through these types of injuries in meaningful playoff games, but this year doesn’t qualify as that. We’ll have to load manage him out of 30-50% of regular season games and that’s fine too.
In the meantime, we’ll need to find a solid 2B to go alongside KP behind Luka. Cap space is opening up with David Lee’s $12.7M coming off the books. Tim Hardaway’s $20M deal enters ‘expiring contract’ status next season as well. We’ll see what we can do but I’m feeling fine about it.
If you like sports, chances are you like history. Because history is war, and sports are simulated war.
That’s one of several reasons there’s a new song out that’s just really moving me man. This is some art…
It’s a covid remake of a famous WW2 song from the UK in 1939 about going away to war. The original singer, Vera Lynn, was known as the Forces’ Sweetheart and gave performances to citizens sheltering inside the London tubes during the Battle of Britain.
Here is the original…
Lynn passed away earlier this June at age 103. I don’t know if this song was in the works before that or if it was inspired by it. Either way, it’s a hell of a tribute.
Haven’t had a song hit me like this in ages, maybe ever. Thank you to LP Giobbi and the hot singer Little Boots.
It’s been a couple weeks since I wrote on Marlins because we’ve had Dallas playoff games every day keeping me busy. Let’s catch up on the fish now.
Back then, we were 8-4 and leading the division from day 1. Immediately after, we went 1-5 and started falling apart. Fortunately, one of those series was against the Mets when they were infected with covid and our final game against them got canceled.
Covid breaks are like magic elixir to the Marlins. Nobody streaks out of covid breaks like the Marlins. We took 3 out of 5 against the Nats, followed by 2 out of 3 vs the Mets. A playoff spot is ours to lose…
The biggest highlight of this stretch was last Saturday’s debut of ‘Sixto Clock’, aka a start by our badass prospect Sixto Sanchez. He is the truth. He’s got the cool name, cool hair, coooool cool stuff.
His fastball hit 100 four times in the first inning and averaged 99 until the 5th inning. It’s a straight up heater. He’s also got a decent slider, but his out pitch seems to be a wicked changeup that drops hard. Here’s an example of all three…
His next start is tonight and I cannot wait to watch. I haven’t been this excited for a pitcher on my team since Yu Darvish was on the Rangers.
There’s more pitching reinforcements coming too. Sandy Alcantara, Jose Urena, and Caleb Smith are all practicing again from a sketchily long duration on the covid list. That’s two aces and a plus starter being added to Sixto in the 4 spot. We’re already in playoff position without these guys; we can make some serious noise now with them.
-Half of Degrom’s starts this year have been against the Marlins. He’s had six starts and each of the last three have been against us. Are you kidding me man?? We lost all by a total of four runs. Matchup luck is only gonna get better.
-Seven inning doubleheaders are so awesome. We are 5-1 in them on the year, with a lone loss going against Scherzer (and only losing by one). More of those please.
-A cool part of Marlins fandom is being rivals with Atlanta and having more reason to cheer against those losers. They were on Sunday Night Baseball earlier this week and this is how the game ended
-We also get to be rivals with philly, my #1 nemesis city. They traded us Sixto last year for JT Realmuto and will be regretting that one for years. That’s tight.
UPDATE: Sixto’s next start is actually tomorrow against Tampa as the final Mets game is postponed. This is a classy move…
Another game, another domination by the Dallas Stars. Razor proclaimed this series to be over already and I have to agree. We absolutely own this team and are living rent free inside their heads.
Colorado did have a good start because their coach went nuclear to fire them up, and then we hurt ourselves with four early penalties. Avs scored twice but couldn’t bury us because Dobby is playing out of his mind. 19 saves off 20 shots in the first period alone.
Then came the 5v3s…
For us, it was two goals in 43 seconds. For them, it was tight stick gripping and choking. From that point on, it was a rout.
Four total goals in the second period and one more ten seconds into the 3rd. Final score of this beatdown: 5-2 Stars.
The Avalanche are just plain and simple not ready for high level playoff hockey. They remind me a lot of the Lightning of recent years. Great talent, especially at the top end, but severely lacking in the physicality and tenacity required to win hard playoff series.
One key stat that stands out is 3rd period high danger scoring chances. We’ve given up TWO total. One each in both games. We are killing them in closeout time.
There’s several possible reasons for this. We have that one year of Hitch hockey that might be finally reaping all the dividends now. We also have more depth and are beating them up all game to make them gassed by the end.
Then there’s the fact that the Avs are just arrogant. Razor brought this up yesterday morning and said they’ve been playing arrogantly just like they did against us in the glory days. They have all the talent for scoring but aren’t working to get better chances for that scoring.
High danger chances are essentially shots from right in front of the goal or close rebounds. The Avs love their sniping game and think they’re dangerous from anywhere past the blue line. That’s not gonna cut it against Dobby.
Speaking of Dobby, he was the obvious #1 hero of the night. 38 saves over 40 shots. Unreal.
His Russian buddy Radulov, who I had soured on until Tuesday night, had another goal and assist. That’s five total points over two games.
I fucking love Russians.
The series is 2-0 and the odds have now completely flipped from +240 Stars to +231 Avs. We have a chance to bury them tonight. At the very minimum, we win one of these next two and then go to a back-to-back for games 5/6 that Colorado is definitely not cut out for taking both of.
1999 vibes are getting stronger and stronger by the day.
The Rangers have gone 1-8 over the past ten days and the season is absolutely lost. There was a sliver of hope right before this losing streak when we recovered from a disastrous start to make it back to .500 and start making moves on the playoff race. That’s all gone now.
Not only did we plummet in the standings, but we got embarrassed in the national media for being on the pussy end of an ‘unwritten rules’ controversy.
I’ll just say this about the beanball – I think it was overblown as most of these stories usually are. All sports have moments where players just need to take out their frustrations on an opponent. Hockey has fighting, basketball has hard fouls, and football has the general play of football.
In baseball, the only options on the table are hard slides and beanballs. Hard slides end seasons while beanballs are just temporary pain and a free base. It’s not that big of a deal and I don’t care that the Rangers wanted to take out frustration on someone running up the score.
What I am embarrassed about is that our beanball just completely missed Machado. We then proceeded to have a historically humiliating week by giving up grand slams in each of the remaining games in the series.
Hey Padres announcers… ER!! It’s not “everything’s big in Texas”. It’s “everything’s bigg’ER” in Texas. Get it right.
The season is fucked. Dietrich has gone 2/17 since I last wrote about him as a savior for the offense. Montero, as seen in the video above, has looked human since the time I sang his praises. Everybody else sucks too.
There are only two bright spots and they come in the form of trade chips. Lance Lynn is easily the best pitcher on the market. He recorded the only win of this 1-8 streak. Joey Gallo has two more years of control and is one of the most valuable bats on the market.
In what should be a major seller’s market with over half the league in a playoff race, those two assets alone could yield the type of return that we got for Teixeira back in 07.
And that’s the key here. We are in full rebuild mode for the first time since that Teixeira trade kickstarted an almost dynasty. JD has been selling prospects for most of his tenure here and it’s reaped a lot of rewards that unfortunately fell one strike short (twice) of the ultimate prize. Now he gets another crack at doing it from scratch.
The season wasn’t supposed to be about winning; it was about getting better. Let’s see how deadline week works out before calling the entire thing a failure.
Side note – the Padres, who are run by former JD protege AJ Preller, acquired Fernando Tatis Jr in a swap for James Shields. Jesus christ that is such a ridiculous trade.
Last time a shot rang this hard around the world, we were killing redcoats…
MFFLs have seen the second coming for awhile, but mark down the Sunday afternoon of August 23, 2020 as the day the rest of America finally realized who their next one true God will be.
Make no mistake about it… Ten years from now, the question will not be if Luka was the best player of the 2020s; it will be whether or not he’s the best player of all time.
Luka transcends everything we used to know about basketball. He’s a mixture of LeBron and Steph with the brain of Jason Kidd. If you think that is hyperbole now, then enjoy being the last person on the goat wagon whenever your time comes.
He may not be quite as powerful as Lebron, but he can still drive on anyone in the league. Once he gets into the paint, he’s got quicker feet and even better passing skills than the so-called king.
He may not be as quick as Steph, but he’s got the range anyway. His size and strength make him open with just a single sliver of separation.
If you replaced Lebron on the Heat with Luka as he is right now, that team wins four titles. If you did the same with Steph on last year’s Warriors, that final shot in game 6 would have been a winner. Luka would’ve beaten Kawhi just like he’s doing right now.
If it seems like he is a cyborg created and developed to be a perfect specimen of basketball prowess, it’s because that’s basically what he is. Unlike his American peers who had to waste time in school, he grew up in a basketball academy. When he turned 16, he didn’t have time to enjoy any newfound driving privileges because he was suiting up for Real Madrid (and guarding Russell Westbrook).
Look – I’m a big proponent of high school and college sports in America. People sleep on the sheer amount of opportunities and benefits it provides for young men and women everywhere. Our athletes are still the best in the world, but their development does not compare to what Luka got.
So after years of replacing pointless schoolwork with professional basketball, he came into the league with the mental acuity of a fully seasoned vet. The cyborg had already maxed out on human potential between the ears.
And that gets us to the most controversial part of this piece. This is a comparison I take very seriously and I’m not afraid to proclaim it for Luka Dončić. Yes, he has some Jordan in him. His adrenal gland is on par with a level we haven’t seen since the current goat was in his prime.
That circus shot on Sunday was nothing new to anybody who’s been watching him before. Europeans knew about his clutch gene for years. MFFLs like myself got accustomed to it all last year.
The NBA put out a sweet video yesterday of Luka’s ‘career clutch moments’, which is mostly a compilation of highlights from his 20yo rookie season. It includes but is not limited to…
A rainbow to the moon and back for a Derek Fisher style game winner at Portland with .6 seconds on the inbound
A step back game winner vs Houston to complete 11 unanswered points in the final 2 minutes
Believe it or not, there’s actually been some growing pains in this 2nd year. His numbers improved dramatically, but we haven’t seen nearly the same clutchness as he showed his rookie year. I wrote during the seeding games about MFFL concerns over our offense going from the best ever in normal times to below average in clutch time. It turns out he was just waiting for a bigger moment.
In the first two months of this season (back when he was still 20), he averaged 30-9-9 and was breaking records left and right before succumbing to newcomer wear and tear. He’s only going to get better. Age 21 is not an athlete’s prime.
The potential was goat-worthy even if he was too humble to admit it…
He will average a 30pt triple double within the next three seasons. Mark my words. He will also win the MVP next year without a doubt. Bet on it this winter, or keep doubting us and be poor. You’ve been warned.
P.S. Don’t worry Dirk, you are still our Prometheus
Stars +240 eh oddsmakers? I know a bookie or two who may be pissed at that one, you fucken pricks. Chalk game 1 up as a Stars domination.
And when I say domination, I mean right from the start. It took just two shifts for Benn and Seguin to link up on a forechecking goal.
Two things we haven’t seen in forever – early game domination and a Seguin goal. Our favorite bro king had been scoreless (on the ice) for 13 games over six months before that. He’s a streaky scorer and this is the series where we’ll most need a streak from him. Awesome timing.
Physicality and veteran tenacity had to stand out for us in this series, and that’s exactly what we got in the opening goal. We also needed our depth to show out, and our checking line ticked all of the above in a huge shift 10 minutes into the game.
It started with Comeau taking Colorado’s best defenseman and alternate captain to the training room and out of the series for good.
It ended with Comeau scoring a goal. It was the second of three total goals we scored on Grubauer over 24 minutes before he joined Johnson on the series ending injury list. Check off goaltending as another advantage we needed and are currently killing it in so far.
Grubauer’s replacement is some Czech fucker named Pavel Francouz. He hasn’t done anything in the NHL, but he might be pretty decent because he was a KHL star and got a $2M/yr contract to backup for the Avs. Still, he’s never taken Grubauer’s spot and Grubauer’s not that good to begin with. The chances of us running into a hot goalie like Talbot last series get slimmer.
Also of note for us is that Radulov scored twice. I’ve been so sick of Radulov all playoffs and thought he was finished. If he starts get going and we have TWO Russians raining goals (him and Gurianov), this team gets scary good.
At this point, it’s more than reasonable to expect this series to end up at the same point that Mavs-Clippers would be at right now without the bullshit KP ejection – a comfortable 3-1 lead for Dallas.
The Avs may be talented, but just like the Lightning the past few years they still have to prove they can handle the trials of high level playoff hockey. It’s a different game and it’s one we’ve proven we can play. They haven’t, and it showed on Friday night.
That being said, this MacKinnon fellow, good golly Jesus he is frightening…
Game 2 in a couple hours. Let’s get one tonight and two more after that so we can party just like 1999.